hot topic: Israel, Gaza, Palestine & Hamas

If you’ve been watching the news of late, you’ve probably heard about the recent escalation of tension between Israel & Palestine.  Over the last month or so, the hostilities in this region have become increasingly deadly to the point that Israel is considering the use of ground forces to move into the Gaza strip.  Regardless of your political opinions or persuasions, let’s join together & pray for peace in this region.  Indeed, all of the Middle East seems to be in a state of tremendous upheaval & in desperate need of prayer.  Please join me with a few quick actions:

  1. pray that the leaders in Israel & Palestine will have wisdom
  2. pray for the general population to say “yes” to peace & “no” to violence
  3. pray that each person may have the grace & power to forgive others for the pain that they’re experiencing
  4. pass along this blog to your friends to increase the awareness & prayer level for this very strategic area in our world

A Piece of Peace

A shooting spree in the LAX airport? I was in Brazil a few days ago when I read about the guy who went on a shooting spree in the LAX airport. Knowing that I’d be traveling home soon, I can’t say that the shooting spree thing gave me great tranquility. Hmmmmm
But as I’m traveling today, with lots of responsibilities in front of me when I land, I’m opting for a piece of peace rather than slice of stress, remembering that Jesus is my Prince of Peace & He’s got the whole world (including all of my world) in His hands. We can trust Jesus to direct & protect our steps, so let’s chose the piece of peace ,)

catching your breath

Well, I’m not sure if I’ve managed this week or if this week has managed me.  At this point, it kind of feels like I might be a victim of this week’s crazy, busy & seasonal madness but there’s a chance that I can still win ,)  

If you’re also feeling the similar seasonal pressures and demands, hopefully the thoughts below can give some peace:

  • God loves you and nothing can increase or decrease that love
  • Jesus, the Prince of Peace, still calms storms, heals hurts & provides essentials
  • there is no hardship or struggle that is bigger than God
  • not everything is mission critical ,)

pandemonium, pressure and peace

It seems to me that in almost every Christmas season, there comes a time when all of the pressures, activities, demands and general busy-ness shifts into the frenzied and frantic zone and the chaos threatens to swallow me into a abyss of cluttered insanity (sorry for all of the adjectives).  In the midst of all of this, I find my heart getting really still and quiet, seeking to create some serenity, calm and peace.  Even now, I have a few unexpected moments of quiet and while I’m writing this, I find myself letting go of some of the season’s stress and receiving some much needed divine peace.

So my friend, please be sure that with all of this season’s demands and expectations, don’t neglect to take those essential moments to be still and celebrate our Prince of Peace 🙂

Stay calm

My dad had all kinds of insightful one-liners. He used to say, “Sarah, you have to pick your nervous breakdowns” meaning that I needed to be selective about what I would get upset about. I’ve found this to be super helpful. Just now, I ordered a whopper with extra pickles & the cashier thought I said no pickles – easy fix that doesn’t need a level 10 melt down. Another area is when I’m running late for an appt, I find myself getting stressed out. So I talk to myself & ask if getting upset is going to add value to the problem of being late – usually not. Lets get upset about things that are important 🙂
Like my dad says, “you gotta pick your nervous breakdowns” ,)

People Watching in London

I’m currently making my way to Rome to join mom for ourFall group trip, with a layover in London. One of the great things about traveling is the magnificent opportunities to watch people & London is one of the best places for people watching. When I watch people as I travel, I see & experience lots if things:
*an overwhelming display of God’s outrageous creativity
*a diversity of beauty in people: beautiful eyes, beautiful hands, beautiful travel hair, beautiful wrinkles and so much more
*despite the hustle & bustle of making flight connections, gate changes, luggage challenges, etc, I can experience an internal peace & serenity that can still my foggy yet whirling thoughts

Eyes on the Prize

This morning has been a really refreshing time of re-focusing for me that I’ve needed more than I realize. Similar to you, I have LOTS of responsibilities & spinning plates. If I’m not careful, I can get too focused on these various important things at the expense of finding my peace & satisfaction in Jesus. For me, any balance that excludes a really healthy dose of intimacy with Jesus is nothing more than an illusion.
So my conclusion is that I have no mojo without being grounded in a deepening intimacy with Jesus 🙂

Be still, oh anxious thoughts

Today is my kids’ 1st day back to school so we all have those 1st school day jitters – nervous about new teachers, classmates, new subjects, what’s the school year going to be like, being accepted, friends etc. As their mom, I find myself also a bit nervous & jittery. So we all get to explore what it means to trust God with our unique jitters with their stuff as well as mine – decisions, future direction, www.savingmoses.org . For myself, I find that receiving Jesus’ peace is wrapped in the same decision as rejecting anxiety. When I try to fight anxiety, for me it only seems to get bigger when I don’t simultaneously receive Jesus’ peace to guard my heart & mind. So I’m accepting Jesus’ peace & keeping the anxious thoughts outside to wither in the glorious light & truth of the Holy Spirit 🙂

help with being stressed

I know that many of you don’t need any help with dealing with stress.  In fact, you may be a person who is completely immunized from anything stressful so you might find these ideas to be boring.  If, however, you find yourself struggling with stress from time to time, these are some things that have helped me of late:

  • if I get jittery about the future, it’s really helped me to re-adjust my focus to keep it on Jesus, being confident that when I get to the future, Jesus will be there.  More importantly, I can be with Jesus now in this moment
  • provision challenges: sometimes God’s provisions come on a day-to-day basis.  With this in mind, I can trust that He is giving me what I need for this day and even this moment
  • while this may sound cheesy, it’s really helped me alot lately to praise & worship God just on my own without music or even a specific song but just singing my own songs and words that are from my heart
  • finally, the other day I was up really early & really stressed out;  I read an email about a friend who is going through a REALLY DIFFICULT time.  Reading about her hardship made me instantly want to pray for her – taking my mind off of me

I believe that God has huge help available for us, even in stressful times ,)

aid for charades

Charades is a fun game to act out lots of different things.  If you’ve played this game in a group, you know that you’re supposed to act something out & help your team guess your word(s) based on your acting.  This game can be lots of fun, but unfortunately, I think we play this game in our life, from time to time.  Here are a few examples:

  • Sometimes I think we pretend to be humble, when the reality is that we’re merely insecure.
  • Sometimes I think we pretend to be confident when the reality is that we’re arrogant
  • Sometimes I think we pretend to be peaceful when the reality is that we’re apathetic
  • Sometimes I think we pretend to be strong when the reality is that we’re scared
There are lots of other ways we live the charade game & ultimately, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to be humble, confident, peaceful, strong, etc.  But my sense is that we can’t really have these things well integrated into our lives as a normal reality without God’s help.  Just some food for thought 🙂